Public Support for Farmers in Wales
On 8 July 2020, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, confirmed Sustainable Farming will remain at the heart of future Welsh agriculture support. Last Summer Welsh Government published “Sustainable Farming and our Land” a second consultation on post-Brexit support for farming.
Within its pages Welsh Government set out the central ambition to promote sustainable farms producing both food and public goods in a system which enhances the well-being of farmers, communities and all of the people of Wales. In excess of 3,000 responses were received before the 30 October 2019 closing date. A detailed analysis of those reports was published on 6 May 2020 and can be found here;
Wednesday’s update to elected colleagues in the Senedd confirmed Welsh Government’s intention to continue to develop a future system of agricultural support around the Sustainable Land Management approach. The Statement also announced a further consultation due to be published this Summer to seek views on the retention and simplification of rules around agricultural support for farmers and the rural economy. The Minister also set out the next stages in the development of future support, including:
- undertaking a range of economic analysis to understand the impact of moving from an entitlement based income support scheme to a voluntary scheme which rewards the accomplishment of outcomes. This will be published next summer and no decision on a future scheme will be made without consideration of this analysis;
- confirmation that there will be a transition period to enable farmers to adjust their existing business model to accommodate any changes required by the proposed scheme; and
- Government’s intention to publish a White Paper before the end of this term, which will pave the way for the introduction of an Agriculture (Wales) Bill during the sixth Senedd term.
We await publication of the next consultation to assess what impact changes may have on farming in Wales.